Faune et Bacchante 1861-wild untamed woman.

Faune et Bacchante. (1861)

Faune et Bacchante. (1861)
William Bouguereau Faune et Bacchante. (1861).

This painting by Bouguereau depicts a faune, who were said to be mythological spirits of the untamed woodland. Not to be mistaken for a Satyr who are totally different creatures, as although they both posses goat like features below the waist and human features above the waist, Satyrs were said to have human feet were as fauns had goat like hooves. In this piece the faune is sitting with a bacchante, also known as a Maenad, a priestess or female follower of Bacchus the god of wine. They were usually crowned with thorns and had a reputation for being wild untamed woman who could not be reasoned with. He is holding what appears to be a rhyta, (container intended to hold drink or be drank from) in his left hand and is supporting the Bacchante who appears to be drunk as she seems to be slumped in his arm and her gaze is not at him but slightly off to the side. Her right breast is visible and appears to be rounded and firm and she has an erect nipple suggesting perhaps that she is cold or possibly even aroused. Given the reputation of the bacchante's this could be a highly probable description of the work.

The above account is my interpretation of the work and should in no way be taken as fact.